Protect Your Phone! -Lifeproof 5s frē & Otterbox Defender Review

Protect Your Phone!

In the last few years, our “smart phones” have become an important piece of hunting gear.  Not only do they allow our loved ones to rest easy knowing that we have a lifeline in the event of an emergency.  The various apps on these phones help us keep track of the weather, wind and deer activity.  These phones even give us a source of entertainment when the deer movement is slow.  With the price of such high tech equipment these days, it’s important to protect these phones from the type of elements we subject them.  We’ve tested two cases in the last few months that do an excellent job of keeping your phone protected.  Click on the pictures of the phones to go directly to the websites!

Lifeproof 5s frē case $79.99

The Iphone frē  case from Lifeproof has combined a slim, light fit with all-around shock and water protection.  We were big fans of the Lifeproof Iphone 4s cases and wondered how Lifeproof would get around the fingerprint touch ID scanner of the Iphone 5s.   They did it with a tough, but thin piece of flexible plastic that sits over the scanner itself.  This piece of plastic is thin enough for the scanner to read your fingerprint, but thick enough to provide the complete waterproof coverage. Think of this plastic as a “skin” of sorts that blends seamlessly into the rest of the case.  We have read the reviews of people having issues with the reliability of the ID scanner and this type of case.  In our opinion, these issues have more to do with the Iphone itself than any case you may be using.   Even without a case on the Iphone 5s, the Fingerprint ID is quirky to say the least!  This issue is not the fault of the Lifeproof case.

The Lifeproof 5s frē case is Protected by what Lifeproof calls (The Four Proofs)

Waterproof: Fully submersible to 6.6 feet (2m)

Dirt proof: Totally sealed from dirt and dust

Snow proof: Completely closed to snow and ice

Shockproof: Survives drops from 6.6 feet (2m)

All of the screens, buttons, ports and lenses are completely sealed and protected by this case and it is backed by a 1-year warranty.  If you’re familiar at all with our last Lifeproof review, you know that every case comes with an adapter for use with headphones.   This adapter allows for continued waterproofing even with the use of your headphones.  Lifeproof improved the headphone port by keeping the screw-in cover attached to the phone instead of previous versions needing to be taken out and attached to the adapter for safe keeping.  With this new feature, you no longer need to worry about losing the screw-in cover when using the adapter.

We had zero issues with the touch screen with this case.  All of the swiping and touch functions worked flawlessly even in wet weather.

This case is offered in a variety of colors and just recently became available in Realtree camo for us hardcare hunters.  Just don’t drop it on the forest floor!

Biggest Advantage:

This case is completely waterproof and submergible without the fear of damaging your expensive iphone.  In our minds, if you can submerge this case without any worries, it certainly will hold up to the wet weather of the outdoors!  We’ve also found that the Lifeproof cases keep your iphone looking brand new for the length of time you have it in the case.  With the iphone exchange plans available now, this is a money saver down the road for you.

Biggest Drawback:

Needs an adapter (included) to use the headphones but the total waterproof protection is well worth the slight inconvenience.  Also, the phone doesn’t come with a belt holster clip but is available online.

Otterbox  Defender

for iPhone 5S: $49.95 – $59.95

The Defender is a 3-layer case that protects your phone against drops, scratches and general debris.   The outer screen protector and polycarbonate backing snap together to sandwhich the Iphone while the outermost flexible silicone shell fits snuggly over this sandwhich and creates an extremely durable shell for your phone.  The whole thing will also fit into the included holster that clips onto your belt or gear and doubles as a kickstand for your phone.

The case has strategically placed cutouts for various ports, the fingerprint scanner and the camera while the silicone shell covers the ports so debris does not get into the inner workings of the camera.  The Fingerprint scanner and camera are not covered by the inner shell or silicone shell which allows some dust or debris to accumulate on the surface of the camera (This dust and dirt was only on the surface and could be easily cleaned off).  Routine removal of the phone from the case may be required for a spotless Iphone.  While this case is not completely “waterproof” like the Lifeproof  frē, it is “weatherproof” in terms of the normal type of weather that you might experience in the outdoors.  For the price, the Defender represents an extremely durable case that keeps your Iphone dry under normal conditions.  The included holster is a big plus for this price!

Otterbox also offers a camo version of it’s Armor Series for the Iphone 5 (Note: This case is for the iphone 5 and is a different case than the Defender case shown above.  We did not test this case)

Biggest Advantage:

The Defender protects your iphone from scratches, drops and most any impact that you could subject it to.  It also comes with a belt clip / holster / kickstand that is a nice feature for an overall affordable price!

Biggest Drawback:

The case is not completely waterproof like the Lifeproof case and there are areas that dust and debris can get to the phone underneath.

The Bottom Line for these 2 Cases:

If you want to protect your phone, you’ve got plenty of options but you certainly get what you pay for.  We’ve tested several cases over the last couple of years and these two companies are, in our opinion, the best options available on the market today.  They’ve got a case for your phone that will protect it from harm.  Give them both a look today by  clicking on the phone photos.  Tell them they both get a “thumbs up” from Heritage Hunters!

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